Drug offenses fall within the following three categories: (1) manufacture or distribution, (2) sales and (3) personal use.
- Manufacture or distribution: Drug offenses involving manufacturing and/or distribution normally involved large quantities of controlled substances (illegal drugs) or marijuana. These cases often have many parties involved and are usually prosecuted at the federal level.
- Sales: Drug offenses that fall within this category are often those which involve hand to hand transactions of controlled substances (usually transactions involving sales of a controlled substance for someone’s personal use).
- Personal Use: Drug offenses for personal use are simply those in which you were found to be in possession of a controlled substance with a “usable amount”. A usable amount is a quantity that is enough to be used by you as a controlled substance. Simple traces or debris are usually not considered usable amounts.
The penalties for drug-related offenses depend on several considerable factors, including the type of drug in your possession, amount of drug in your possession, geographic location (i.e. distributing near a school), prior drug-related criminal history, among others. These factors will determine whether a drug crime is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony and whether the punishment ranges from rehabilitative programs, probation, and fines, to long prison sentences.
California offers numerous alternatives other than serving time for a drug offense for people who have been charged with non-violent drug possession offenses (California Proposition 36). In addition, California Proposition 47 also offers relief to some offenders who were once convicted of a non-violent felony offense that has now been reduced to a misdemeanor drug offense (not all felony offenses qualify). As such, it is very important that you contact a criminal attorney who can assist you in getting the help that you need. Call our office today.